Friendly Friday – In the Garden

I could never have thought I would be invited to guest host Friendly Friday; the feeling of excitement and honour is overwhelming. This was the first challenge I’ve joined when I got back to blogging along with Lens-Artists, which I am now a proud host too. This year, in blogging terms, can’t get any better. Even if, yet again, everything else is crumbling around us, I thought we could try and focus on the positive things in life. For me, gardens and more recently gardening have been a lifeline.

When I started photography, there were two subjects that interested me: street photography and flowers. I soon realised to take pretty photos, flowers were where I should focus. I’ve never managed to take a bad photo of a flower but now, years later, I’ve understood that most of them where just that, pretty. I also understand now that photographing them is no longer enough. I’ve developed a green thumb after years of unsuccessfully trying to grow things. I think I’ve found the perfect country for me as a gardener, one that doesn’t require me remembering to water the plants as there’s a constant supply.

There hasn’t been a country I’ve visited that didn’t involve a visit to a garden. I’m not picky either, I enjoy formal gardens and Japanese gardens immensely, but I also like a meadow or a cottage garden. The beauty of all of them is within our grasp, the calming effects, the certainty that somehow, Nature will prevail in the end. Gardens are a reflection of cultures too. Japanese gardens are methodical, artistically conceived for meditation and mental fulfilment. In Scotland, I particularly like how vibrant and busy borders can be, like a symphony of colours and smells. In Paris I’ve found that even gardens are made to a grand scale. In Southern Spain gardens truly are like oasis and in my Lisbon, gardens are full of memories and love.

My small back garden is like therapy. After months of not really looking after it, this past weekend was the first time I had a look and it’s bursting with life. Tiny shoots of roses, sweet pea growing for the first time in years, a fluffy moss carpet, a bamboo too stubborn to die. The crocuses are nearly gone but still beautiful, soon there will be red Tulips too. It’s being pleasantly surprised, having a gift almost every day. I am nowhere near in control of this space; I simply attend to it. In return it looks after me too.

In the past two years, gardens and parks regained an important role in our lives, both mentally and physically. We are also encouraged to do more for the environment in easy steps as having bee and butterfly friendly outside spaces or replacing lawns as they take too much water to maintain. For this Friendly Friday Challenge, photography, stories, poems are all welcome to show us your feelings and thoughts about gardens. I would like to thank Amanda, Sandy and Sarah for this opportunity to guest host and to all who take this challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing your replies.

This challenge runs for the next 2 weeks. Please remember to tag Friendly Friday so we can find you. After that Friendly Friday is back with Sarah on 25th March. Make sure to follow her magnificent blog Travel with me.


31 thoughts on “Friendly Friday – In the Garden

  1. Oh so pretty…I love gardens. I feel so lucky that we have a tiny one, at least I can manage it without being so exhausted. During Corona times it was our own little haven and a place where my kid would play and bask in the sun.Spring is coming and I can´t work to be busy working there again..!
    Congatulations on hosting these wonderful challenges…you are doing great!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A very apt theme to showcase your skilful portraits of flowers, Sofia. Your words reflect the intimate, symbiotic relationship you have with the nature around you.
    Do you realize how envious I am of you having tulips grow in your own garden! They are impossible to grow here, so we only get them at a cost, in the florists!
    Thanks so much for hosting the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shall take a photo of them for you Amanda, if they show up. Last year not all actually flower and they were so small…
      Thank you so very much for the invite, it’s been the highlight of a rather meh week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad that Friendly Friday has been a highlight for you. I also enjoyed constructing a post in response.
        I will look forward to seeing your tulips, Sofia! I am right now trying to guess what colour they might be. I was staggered to see orange and yellow tulips growing like weeks around power poles in Finland one Spring!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am envious of your ability to maintain a garden. My mother was an avid gardener and her greatest regret in leaving her hometown was leaving behind the fruit trees that she’d carefully planted. Unfortunately I have the opposite of a green thumb, so I admire gardens as a spectator.
    Great topic Sofia. I’m looking forward to the responses!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful photos and a great theme! I like the way you’ve featured the different styles of gardens around the world and then focused on your own garden – which judging by these photos must be lovely!

    We only have a tiny urban courtyard, so I really appreciate any garden I get to visit. I thought I’d use your theme as an excuse to share the tropical gardens of the hotels where we stayed in Costa Rica, which were a real highlight of the trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I love my little garden and my plants, there’s always room for improvement which is a good thing, it keeps me focused. Your post is amazing, it’s funny how some posts really make you think of travelling to places you never even thought before.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reading your post is a breath of fresh air.

    Gardens have been a respite and sanctuary for me – particularly in the last couple of years with the world gone crazy. And I suspect it will continue to be so, as now craziness has now erupted. So it is so timely and restoring to immerse myself into your stunning images and engaging thoughts.

    I am so envious to read about your back garden – we live in an apartment so only have a little balcony garden which Loving Husband tends. But I do live next to the Singapore Botanic Gardens so that is where I start many of my mornings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Ju-Lyn. I can’t see my life without a garden of my own anymore and before I’ve always lived in flats. There is something calming about growing plants, even if it is just a few herbs in small pots and the power of Nature to heal everything is magical.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s